Those feet were made for walkin’

I officially have a mobile child.  Viv took her first real steps the week before her birthday at my mother in law’s house. But since it doesn’t count until Mom and Dad see it, we’re counting July 7th as the real walking day.  Since then, she has been more ambitious about letting go of nearby furniture.  On Monday night, she was walking all over the place. We’re in trouble now!



Repacking my Hospital Bag – Part 2

Yesterday you heard about how brilliant I was to come up with THE. PERFECT. HOSPITAL. BAG. for my labor and delivery with “Baby Lafe”.  Everyone’s delivery story is different, but here are my thoughts on what I would leave behind if I were to repack the bag(s).


labor bag all-- edit(1) Comfy nursing bras.  Oh yes. Ooooh yes. I wore this pretty puppy through my whole labor, delivery, and post-partum visits.  Super soft and comfortable, incredibly easy access for first time breastfeeding, and most importantly, I felt like myself while in labor.  

(2) Amazon Kindle yeah. Didn’t touch it during the labor or in the few days in the hospital.

(3) iPhone charger. Obviously.

(4) Hairties and bobby pins! I didn’t love having my hair in a ponytail or bun. I felt like it kept getting in the way when I would lay my hair back.  But my stretchy headband was perfect! Kept the hair out of my face, and made me look halfway presentable for the first pictures after Viv arrived.

(5) Tube Sock and Tennis ball.  Nope. Leave it, unless it’s your support person’s idea and they will remember to use it.  In my case, it never came out of the bag.

(6) Yummy lotions.  No massages for me! No one was going NEAR my feet.  The only part of me I wanted rubbed was my lower back.

(7) Birth Plan.  Never even consulted it. I was with it enough to remember what I wanted, The Man was totally aware, and we had a great nurse who kept us updated.  It was more helpful for me to articulate what I wanted ahead of time.  That being said, I’ve heard some people have horror stories at less baby-friendly hospitals, so if you’re in one of those areas, by all means, bring the birth plan!

(8) iPhone portable speaker.  It was only after the delivery was over

(9) Comfy, non-skid socks.  I didn’t think it was necessary to have them.  Once I got in the room, I started getting paranoid that my water would break all over them.  Pick either slippers OR socks.

(10) Bathrobe.  LOVED my bathrobe. I put it on before family came to visit and it was super comfy.  My only recommendation would be to buy a LONG bathrobe – When I was moved from L&D to postpartum (in a wheelchair), the nurse had to grab a towel to put over my legs—it’s not like I was crossing my legs for modesty!

(11) Binsi Skirt.  Yes. Yes yes yes. I wore it all during my labor, and at one point when thigns were getting serious, I just ripped it off with one hand. Perfect.

(12) Soft Slipper Flip-Flops.  Yes please! Wore them when I was walking around the room, and in the hallway. 

(13) Nursing Tanktop.  Didn’t use it—the bathrobe was fine for visitors.

THE POST-PARTUM BAG my bag all -- edit

(1) Muslin Swaddlers.  Leave it. The hospital has plenty of heavy duty swaddlers.  There is something great about having tons of pictures of Viv in the blue and pink striped blankets at the hospital, versus the muslin swaddlers at home.

(2) Nursing Bra.  Not necessary. In fact, I didn’t wear an underwire nursing bra for a month and a half after Viv was born.  It only came out because I had to go to a wedding.

(3) Yoga Capri Pants.  I’m a skirt kind of girl, which is super helpful in the hospital.  There is a lot of checking going on down there during the post-partum stay.  It was uncomfortable enough to move around in those first few days, I can’t imagine having to get out of bed, take my pants off, get back in bed, have my lady parts examined, get out of bed again, put on the pants, and then whatever.  Having a nightgown or skirt on made things 100% easier. Leave ‘em.

(4) Comfy Nursing Tank Top.  Didn’t’ use this one either.  I really wore my nightgown most of the time, with a comfy nursing bra underneath.

(5) Makeup.  Oh I’d pack it again! I didn’t’ put on any makeup during the stay, but did spruce myself up a little before we left the hospital.

(6) Hair Dryer and Hair Straightener. Eh, I would probably bring it again, but only for peace of mind.  Didn’t use it, even for when I left the hospital.

(7) Nursing Pads.  Leave em at home for when you REALLY start leaking through your shirts.

(8) Lanolin.  I didn’t use it in the hospital.  The nips hurt, but they weren’t cracked or sore.  I probably wouldn’t pack it again, and would just wait until I got home.

(9) Boppy.  Whether to bring the boppy was a tough choice. Friends either insisted that I have it, or insisted that I forget it. I’m in the latter camp this time. you have plenty of pillows, and those are easier to position in the very beginning when you have no idea what you’re doing.


They say live and learn, so take what you will from my experience! Although, if I were REALLY to go back and pack my bag, I would probably be too neurotic to listen and would just pack everything and more. The benefit now is that looking at all of the things I would leave out, I bet I could even fit everything into one super bag!

Repacking my Hospital Bag – Part 1

About a million of my BFFs are with child and shall birth those children (respectively) by early next year.  I was discussing the contents of my bag(s) for labor/delivery/postpartum, and actually found the detailed spreadsheet that I had created to keep track of all the VERY IMPORTANT THINGS that I needed to have with me.

Not surprisingly, there are so many items I packed that I didn’t even touch during the hospital stay.   I recall packing and thinking that I could go without a lot, but was not willing to risk being without THE ONE THING that made the differnce between glowing, fantastic super mom and, well, a woman who just pushed an 8lb person out of her hoo-ha.

I had the brillant idea of having a Labor bag and a Post-partum bag. The main problem with that is tha ti tleft me without any intuitive packing skills.  Contacts seperate from toothpaste? Where does the hairbrush go? some clothes here, some clothes there?  After, oh, 8 months of planning,  several facebook posts begging for suggestions, and a few grey hairs, I came to a decent list.

Today, you get to hear about what I packed and why.  Tune back tomorrow to hear how my suggestions work 60% of the time, every time. (double points if you name that movie!)


labor bag all

(1) Comfy nursing bras.  These aren’t those underwire nursing bras you find in Motherhood maternity.  Oh no, these are the big guns. Super sports bra support, easy boob access, and plenty of coverage. 

(2) Amazon Kindle (or whichever e-reader or tablet you prefer).  I had no idea how long I would be in labor, how painful it would be, or whether I would have pain relief.  And If I was lucky enough to catch some Z’s, The Man could use it.

(3) iPhone charger. Duh.

(4) Hairties and bobby pins! I knew I wouldn’t be one of those women who had glowing, perfect hair after giving birth.  I had a nice, stretchy headband too.

(5) Tube Sock and Tennis ball.  I read somewhere that rubbing a tennis ball on your back during labor can help immensely.  So I went out and bought a tube of tennis balls and hi-jacked one of the Man’s old socks.

(6) Yummy lotions.  Did I ever tell you that The Man was required to give me a foot massage during our all-day, marathon birthing class? it was glorious. I expected that it be replicated during labor.

(7) Birth Plan.  I had a million verions of birth plans. I downloaded some from babycenter, some I just made up, all of them were confusing and contradictory.  I constantly paniced that I would leave a crucial piece of information out.

(8) iPhone portable speaker.  I had labor playlists and I’m not afraid to admit it. Again, this went with the uncertainty of the length of labor, and not knowing whether I’d need some good tunes to pump me up!

(9) Comfy, non-skid socks.  These were to wear while walking around the hospital to keep my feed all warm and toasty.  I had a great pair from Bath and Body Works, but I’m not sure they carry those anymore.

(10) Bathrobe.  A good friend recommended that I bring a bathrobe to cover myself up if I was walking around, and for visitors after the fact.  I picked up a grey one from Target about a week before I went into labor.

(11) Binsi Skirt.  Ok, soooo, I’m not really a hippy, but you wouldn’t know it by my choice of labor attire.  I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t want to wear hospital clothes, but I also didn’t want to ruin my favorite black skirt.  I can’t remember where I heard about the binsi skirt, but I needed to have it.

(12) Soft Slipper Flip-Flops.  These were a bridesmaid gift from my friend Bridget and I LOOOOVE them. I figured I could use them to walk around instead of the socks.

(13) Nursing Tanktop.  This was a back up to the nursing bra, in case I wanted to be a little more modest, or to wear when visitors arrived.


my bag all


(1) Muslin Swaddlers.  I knew the hospital would supply swaddlers, but I wanted softer ones for pictures and the trip home.

(2) Nursing Bra.  I wore the underwire nursing bras for the latter part of my pregnancy (highly recommend doing that, btw). I wanted this for the trip home.

(3) Yoga Capri Pants.  I wanted a pair of comfy pants for the hospital stay.

(4) Comfy Nursing Tank Top.  I also packed a second nursing tank for hospital visitors.

(5) Makeup.  Ok, fine, I can be a little vain.  But I knew my picture would be taken, and I wanted to feel like a human!

(6) Hair Dryer and Hair Straightener. See #5.

(7) Nursing Pads.  I’d heard that you leak a lot of breastmilk during the first few weeks of nursing and wanted to be prepared.

(8) Lanolin.  Lanolin is super helpful for sore nipples, something I was sure I would have!

(9) Boppy.  Ah the trusty nursing pillow. I wanted to have anything and everything that would help me breastfeed little baby lafe!

yes toiletries

(10) Cotton Swabs and QTips, (11) Face Cleansing Wipes, (12) Body Wash, (13) Deodorant, (14) Hair Brush, (15) Toothbrush, Toothpaste, and Mouthwash, (16) Shampoo and Conditioner.

Several friends told me that the first shower post-birth was the best feeling ever, especially if you had labored a long time.  The only disappointment they had was with the hospital soap and shampoo combo.  I figured it would be even more refreshing to have all of my normal shower products.

I also (obviously) packed clothes to come home in (a blue pattern nursing dress from Target) and clothes for baby to come home in (a green frog outfit, size 0-3 months). The Man packed his own bag of clothes, snacks, magazines, etc. Overall, we had a backpack for the labor bag, a duffle bag for my postpartum bag, The Man’s duffle bag, a boppy, and a huge pillow with bright pillow case for me!  I still think my walk into the hospital with contractions was harder than The Man’s task of carrying all of those bags!

This Week’s PSA

How many times have you heard someone to remind you to back up your files? seriously? how many?

I have a lovely external hard drive that has EVERYTHING on it. But most importantly, my pictures. Fifteen years of pictures. I won’t even go into the details of how many times I thought “hmmm, I should really back up these files…” and then didn’t.

Well, last week, I went to transfer files from Vivian’s party, birthday, and Meredith’s Baby shower. and The hard drive kept connecting and disconnecting.  So I thought, wow, this is the TIME.

Later that night, I plugged the hard drive in again to transfer all of my files. and NOTHING.

Commence full on panic.  I tried every USB port on my computer. I tried it on every computer conceivably available to me. nothing.  I posted a panicked request on facebook, and after several few desperate moments, my salvation came!

Andrew used to live with my BFF Jess and her hubby Gavin. He’s always been computer savvy (aren’t all former apple store employees?), and miraculously had some kind of port to get my files.  I could try to explain, but I’ll just go with magic. After two hours of wishing and hoping and praying and dreaming, SUCCESS! he was able to recover all of my files. I am now in possession with a new external hard drive with ALL of my files in tact.

I am also currently backing up my desktop and the external hard drive. Lesson learned.

Sexy Me

So now that Vivian is one, my diet and exercise philosophy has changed.  I still have 10 pesky pounds to lose, and I can’t really rely on breastfeeding to help me along the way.

My main body gripe is the complete shift of everything.  I’ve always had a little belly, but it wasn’t overwhelming and was easily hidden. Before I was pregnant, my pants were either too loose in the waist but fit in the hips/thighs, or fit in the waist and were WAY too tight in the hips/thighs.  Now, I have the opposite problem.  I have a serious belly pooch, which no amount of sucking in will eliminate.  So if I want pants that fit in the legs, then I’m dealing with a serious amount of muffin top.  Not attractive, but more importantly, not comfortable. I wear dresses most work days so I don’t feel like my pants are going to cut me in half.  On the days where a suit is absolutely necessary, I look like this

without the happy dancing, of course.

I’ve been doing some yoga and jogging intermittently, but let’s face it: I’m not the biggest fan of exercise.

source: in the last week, I have done two things:

First, I have signed up for Color Me Rad on September 21st.  Which means I probably should start running in some way. If you’ve never heard of it (what, do you live under a rock?), it’s a 5K where bursts of colored cornstarch explode periodically on the run.  Leaving you covered in color and fun and happiness!  If you/’re in the area, consider joining my team Bring on the Pain(t)! — I promise that I will be slower than you.


Second, I have begun a 30 day ab challenge I found on Pinterest.

It’s really sad how out of shape my abs were when I began, but I’m already seeing a huge difference in my strength! I’m on day 8 (40 sit ups, 20 crunches, 20 leg raises, 30 sec plank), and it was a lot easier than the first day of just 15 sit ups, 5 crunches, 5 leg raises, and 10 sec plank!

If I don’t collapse on the floor/street from the shock my body will surely endure from all of this exercise (HA), I’ll let you know how it goes. Who knows, maybe I’ll attempt the 30 day squat challenge next month…